Conspirators to intellectuals have made common cause against NPR

Conspirators to intellectuals have made common cause against NPR

 This is Part VI of the series of articles on Citizenship Law.

In Part I of the series of articles, I wrote about the changes made from to time in the citizenship law of India and the changing tones of some political parties.…ay-be-disastrous/

Part II summarises arguments for and against CAA of 2019, NPR and NRC. The conclusion is that acceptance of the demand of those opposing CCA, NPR and NRC will have disastrous consequences.…right-about-turn/

In Part III, the issues discussed are (a) whether the battle is legal or political and (b) how long it is likely to last.…itical-not-legal/

In Part IV, I raised and tried to answer a question: Why protests against CAA, NPR and NRC now? Why not earlier?…-npr-and-nrc-now/

Part  V – Lawmakers and bureaucrats messed up citizenship-related issues – questions the wisdom of the lawmakers of the ruling NDA who unnecessarily amended the Citizenship Act in 2003 and did not change the wordings of the Amendment Act in 2019 to take the steam out of the protests.…p-related-issues/

Conspirators against India (domestic as well as foreign), most of the Indian Muslims, almost all political parties (other than BJP), self-proclaimed secularists, self-proclaimed liberals and so-called intellectuals have made common cause against National Population Register (NPR).  Each one has “reasons” to oppose NPR that would contain basic information such as nationality and date of birth of every Indian resident. The common reason is deep-rooted hatred of Prime Minister Narendra Modi because he is a strong leader who says that he is against the policy of appeasement of minorities, something unheard of in Indian politics earlier. No other Prime Minister had said so. He succeeded Dr. Manmohan Singh who as Prime Minister had declared that the minorities had the first claim on the nation’s resources. Those whose vested interests are adversely affected do not want such a leader, more so when the leader is strong and firm. Compulsive Modi-haters will continue to portray him as a ‘threat’ to democracy on some excuse or the other. CAA/NPR/NRC is just an excuse.

The Muslims in the non-Muslim majority countries are very particular about their separate identity that is reflected in their day-to-day life. They want to live according to the tenets of Islam. During the British rule, prominent Muslim leaders like Dr. Syed Ahmed Khan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad told them to assert their separate identity. (…ay-be-disastrous). Prime Minister Modi gave them a big jolt when he made triple talaq a punishable offence. Abolition of Article 370 and the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya were other unexpected jolts. Naturally, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 gave an opportunity to the Indian Muslims (it would be politically more correct to say “to the Muslim leaders with few exceptions”) to express their anger.

My impression is that there are two reasons for strong protests by Muslims.

One reason is to hide the identity of the Muslims who have come from outside and are illegally staying and working in India. Bangladeshi Muslims are even sending large amounts of money to their homeland (…ay-be-disastrous). The agitation against CAA was started on the ground that by discriminating on religious grounds, it violated Article 14 of the Constitution though most of those claim they are fighting for the Constitution have not even seen the Constitution. Soon they added opposition to NPR and NRC (National Register of Citizens), their main agenda.

The other reason is that if they do not protest effectively, tomorrow Modi may bring uniform civil law. Even the secular Constitution makers of India had no courage to make it mandatory. They included it in the Directive Principles of State Policy, leaving the matter to be decided by the government in the future. The Indian Muslims want to preserve their separate identity at any cost and also enjoy the special privileges guaranteed by the Constitution though they are more in number in India than the Muslims in Pakistan.

The conspirators against India such as Islamic State (IS, successor of ISIS), Pakistan’s ISI, Popular Front of India (PFI) and Rehab Foundation India (RFI) have a more dangerous agenda. They saw in the nationwide agitations by Muslims seed of GhazwaeHind (an Islamic concept in the Hadith (collection of sayings and daily practices of Prophet Muhammad). The term means a brutal war of conquering India after which the winning Islamic army would kill all Idol worshippers). 

Now we know the involvement of these domestic and foreign elements in the agitations and their hands behind riots in the last week of February 2020, perhaps part of a bigger design.

When the Muslim leaders are protesting against CAA, NPR, and NRC, can the political parties competing for Muslim votes remain quiet? Before independence, Congress and Muslim league were the main competitors for Muslim votes. The League had the upper hand even in the Hindi heartland. After independence, the Muslim League in India continued with a new name though with little influence.

For several years Congress kept Muslims as their exclusive vote bank. With the emergence of regional parties and Muslim parties, competition for Muslim votes became intense and aggressive. Sonia Gandhi, the unquestioned leader of Congress since mid-March 1998 when in a palace coup like scene, the then Congress President Sitaram Kesri was insulted and booted out. In hindsight, it seems that when she saw the growing popularity of Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister, she realised that he was the greatest threat to her and her family. During her election campaign in Gujarat in 2007, she called Modi “merchant of death” for his alleged role in communal riots in early 2002 though the fact is that he had done everything possible to control the riots. ( Spreading hatred against Modi to win over Muslims and lower his image among Hindus became the main agenda of the Congress.

In 2003, when Atal Behari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, prominent Congress leaders had demanded grant of citizenship to the Hindus who had fled Pakistan and Bangladesh to seek refuge in India and opposed the grant of citizenship to Bangladeshi Muslims. The CAA of 2003 was passed with the full support of Congress, RJD and DMK. During the UPA-II, as Home Minister, P. Chidambaram was strongly in favour of NPR (…right-about-turn/). The UPA government started compiling the first NPR as the first step towards the preparation of the NRC, a work that continued during the first tenure of Prime Minister Modi. Names of about 360 million Indians were entered in the NPR.

However, when the Congress sensed that the Muslims were against CAA and NPR, it took about-turn and became a strong opponent of CAA (on the ground that it violated right to equality granted by Article 14 of the Constitution) and NPR (on the ground that for the millions of Indians, it would be impossible to furnish documentary proof of date of birth and citizenship, the arguments made by the Muslim leaders).

Among those making common cause against NPR, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, “deserves” a special mention. He formed a political party with the help of people like Amanatullah Khan, Sanjay Singh and Tahir Hussain to introduce a new type of politics in India. Perhaps, the unexpected victory in the late 2013 Delhi Assembly election convinced him that only he could challenge Modi. In a tearing hurry to prove that to the people, after a brief tenure as Chief Minister, he rushed to Varanasi to contest against the Modi. He lost his security deposit but not his confidence in himself to remain the main challenger. Like Sonia Gandhi, he made spreading hatred against Modi his main political agenda. In his opinion, whatever Modi does is wrong.

In a melodramatic speech in Delhi Assembly on March 13, while opposing the NPR, he said that neither his parents nor he and his wife had birth certificates which were required to be produced for NPR. He asked whether he and his family members would be sent to a detention camp for not producing birth certificates. In the same melodramatic tone, he said that none of the members of his Cabinet had birth certificates. The Delhi assembly adopted a resolution to oppose NPR. Governments of 12 states and union territories are opposing NPR.

If you look at the table presented later in this article, you will notice that even for Census 2011 and NPR 2010, the date of birth was demanded. Prime Minister and Home Minister have repeatedly said that every information furnished by a resident would be accepted as true without any documentary proof. On March 12, a day before melodrama by Kejriwal, Home Minister Amit Shah had categorically stated on the floor of the Rajya Sabha that only oral information was to be furnished, no documentary proof was needed, no individual would be categorised as “doubtful citizens” if the person is unable to provide the required information. 

If after all the clarifications, Arvind Kejriwal expresses fear of being sent to a detention camp and decides to oppose NPR, he can be called only a mischievous fellow. Earlier, he had openly said that he was with the Shaheen Bagh sit-in against CAA. He continues to incite and frighten Muslims.

 When Muslims are aggrieved and angry, the “intellectuals” think it their duty to tell them that they (the “intellectuals”) are equally worried. On March 5, as many as 194 economists and social scientists (five of them foreigners) issued a joint statement strongly attacking NPR. The signatories include professors of Jawaharlal Nehru University (29), Delhi University (17), IIMs (13), foreign universities like Oxford, Massachusetts, and Tokyo (10 Indians and 5 foreigners) and several other Indian universities colleges and institutes as well as persons not shown associated with any institution.

I have no idea of their political leanings but signatures of 29 from professors of JNU and Marxist historian Irfan Habib give the impression that they subscribe to different hues of leftist ideology. The leftists, particularly Marxists, always want to remain in forefront of any protest against any “injustice” to Muslims. They were not bothered when Kashmiri pundits or Sikhs were butchered.

They asked the government to abandon the NPR exercise, at least for the time being. Their arguments are as follows.

  • During the Census, anonymous data are collected for assessment of the conditions of population and force necessary social and economic policies.
  • Census data should remain “uncontaminated by any other factor”.
  • Fears have been “growing among substantial sections that enumerators can determine whether a respondent’s citizenship is “doubtful”.”
  • “It is not at all clear that there are any benefits from the NPR at the present juncture.”
  • The twin exercises conducted at the same time violate Clause 15 of the Census Act, 1948 that bars anyone from accessing “any book, register or record made by a census-officer in the discharge of his duty”.

Replies to all these arguments are available in the Census Act of 1948 and the Citizenship Act, 1955 as amended by the CAA in 2003 and the rules framed under these two acts.

The census is conducted under the Census Act while the preparation of NPR is mandated by the Citizenship Act. Thus, the two exercises are carried out under two different laws.

The census is conducted in two phases. In Phase 1 – houselisting and housing census – information is collected about buildings and structures (residential as well as non-residential), availability of basic amenities in each household and conditions of human settlement. The objective is to assess how Singh deficit, quality of dwellings, etc. In Phase 2 – population enumeration – particulars such as name, age, sex, religion, educational qualification, occupation, etc are collected. There is a time gap of 6 to 8 months between two phases.

Information for NPR 2020 will be collected along with Phase 1 of the census. The data for the first (though partial) NPR was collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase (phase I) of the Census of India 2011 and updated in 2015 by conducting a door-to-door survey. The next exercise (updating and addition) will be carried out along with the house listing phase of Census 2021 between April and September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam. Gazette notification to that effect was issued on July 31, 2019.

True, most of the particulars to be collected for NPR (along with Phase 1 of the census) will also be collected, though separately, in Phase 2 of the census. The charge that should be leveled against the government is that there is unnecessary duplication. Whatever information is to be collected for NPR should be part of the Phase 2 exercise. Anyway, these two exercises are being done independent of each other.

The table set out below contains a list of information for NPR and also what could not be part of Census data.

NPR 2020 (Information to be collected under the Citizenship Act and Rules framed thereunder)

Census 2011 (Information collected under the Citizenship Act, 1948 and Rules framed thereunder)

S. No.





Name of person




Relationship to head of family








Marital status




Date of Birth




Place of Birth




Nationality as declared




Passport Number*




Educational Qualification








Present address of usual residence




Duration of stay and place of last residence


Yes (Only place of last residence)


Permanent Residential Address




Father’s name, date of birth and place of birth.*




Mother’s name, date of birth and place of birth.*




Spouse’s name, date of birth and place of birth. (if married)*




Mobile Number*




Aadhaar Number*




Voter ID Card Number*




Driving License Number*



Information marked * not collected for NPR 2010.

In the Puttaswamy case, the Supreme Court has ruled that furnishing Aadhar details cannot be made mandatory.

Had I access to any of 194 signatories, I would have asked a straight question: ‘how many of have read relevant laws?’ Most probably, a couple of mischievous fellows – they are mischievous – planned, drafted and got signatures of those sharing their views. It is highly unlikely that professors of Tokyo University would bother to read the Citizenship Act, Census Act, and rules before appending their signature.

Had they read the two legislations and the relevant rules, they would not give him arguments (a), (b) and (e).

Strictly speaking, the census is not “anonymous”. Personal particulars of each individual are collected though not maintained in the form of a register, as required for the NPR. Only the numbers – population, males, females, educated, educated, etc – at the village level to the national level are published.

Since census and NPR are two different exercises, there is no question of “contamination” of census data by any other factor. Nor is there any question of violation of  Clause 15 of the Census Act, 1948. The census data are not to be used for NPR.

The signatories’ real objections are as mentioned at (c) and (d). They are making these arguments because the Muslim leaders are saying so. The wordings of the argument make their intention very clear. The Modi government is perhaps the only government in the world which is being told by highly educated Indians and their foreign friends that ‘please don’t try to know the number of those illegally.’ Will those foreigners tell the same thing to the governments in their own countries?

Several countries including Australia, China, Canada, Indonesia and USA maintain registers to know each and every person – citizen or non-citizen living with permission or without permission – within the boundaries of the country.

The Kargil Review Committee formed by the government  after the Kargil war (May-July 1999) recommended preparation of  a register of citizens and non-citizens as  an essential national security measure. The CAA of  2003  authorised preparation of National Register of Citizens (NRC). NPR is the first step towards preparation of NRC, though the government has deferred it in view of protests by the Muslims.

The more I read opinions and suggestions of academics and other intellectuals on who should be our leader and how the government should work, the more I am convinced that despite all their degrees and all their achievements in their profession, they know nothing about the governance of the country. They are not just educated idiots but highly mischievous fellows. Readers may recall that when in 2013, BJP declared Narendra Modi its prime ministerial candidate, such “intellectuals” became nervous. ( More than 100 Indian and foreign “intellectuals” including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen had made a written appeal to the Indian voters not to elect Narendra Modi.

That’s why I am saying that the conspirators against India to “intellectuals” have made a common cause with NPR.

They are opposing NPR because they do not want the government and the people of India to know the number of Muslims illegally living in India. A large number of Indian politicians and the so-called intellectuals are helping the conspirators against India. I will not be surprised if many Indian politicians are on the payrolls of the foreign conspirators.

By issuing an irresponsible statement, the mischievous “intellectuals” are supporting the programme of very dangerous Islamic State. Recently, on the basis of survivors’ horrifying testimonies, a New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi gave chilling account of Islamic State’s systematic, logistically complex program of sex trafficking of captured Yazidi women & girls.

These stupid “intellectuals” will realise what they  are doing only when they   will have to live in Islamic State. The same is true of all Indian politicians supporting agitations against CAA_NPR_NRC. All these fellows are pushing India to hell.


Devendra Narain

May 21 2020















Written by Devendra Narain
Date of birth: January 1, 1941 Educational qualification: Master of Arts (First Class) in Political Science Visiting Fellow: (one year, 1978-79), University of Oxford, UK. Job Experience: Teaching job: Lecturer in Political Science, Patna University (February 1963 to October 1965) Indian Revenue Service: November 1965 to December 2000. Important positions held in Government of India: Head of the Project Appraisal Division (Planning Commission), Head of the Project Monitoring Division and Joint Secretary/Additional Secretary (Department of Programme Implementation), Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and Member, Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property. Retired from Government of India on December 31, 2002, as Member, Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property. Experience as trainer: more than 50 national and international training programmes on project management International Experience: Indian member of Inter-governmental committee on project management system by the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1985; Member of Indian delegation to the (erstwhile) Soviet Union (1986) Area of expertise: Project Management (ex-ante Project Appraisal, CBA, Monitoring, ex-post evaluation). Experience as author: Co-author of a book on Indian Constitution in 1970 (now out of print); More than two dozen articles on different aspects of project management; 11 stories (10 satirical and one serious) in English and Hindi, published in leading magazines and a leading Hindi newspaper. Presently writing articles on social, political, economic and administrative issues available on my website and LinkedIn. Website: Present on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) Published collection of short stories in Hindi: "ये टेढ़े मेढ़े रास्ते". Paperback available on Amazon and Flipkart; ebook available on Amazon.